Painter, pastel artist, draughtsman, block-cutter, screen printer, commercial artist and photographer
Heinz Kreutz grew up in Frankfurt am Main and trained as a photographer. From 1940 to 1944 he served as a soldier in the Second World War and was seriously wounded in the Battle of Stalingrad. In hospital he discovered modern art through a cigarette album and began to draw. After the war, he had to give up his intentions of studying art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main because of differences of opinion with the school director after the interview. Kreutz then decided to work as an autodidact and began to portray Passion scenes. In 1948, inspired by the painter Bernard Schultze, he produced his first abstract paintings. The Zimmergalerie Franck in Frankfurt am Main showed works by Kreutz for the first time in a solo exhibition in 1950. The following year, his friend Werner Jordan allowed him to stay in Paris for six months. In the exhibition "Neuexpressionisten" (New Expressionists) in 1952 at the Zimmergalerie Franck, Kreutz exhibited together with Otto Greis, K. O. Götz and Bernard Schultze for the first time; the exhibition was considered the birth of the German Informalism. In his opening speech, the writer René Hinds used the term "Quadriga", which from then on was used for this group of four artists. In 1960 the collector Leonhard Kiefer Kreutz financed a three-month stay in Paris. It was there, in Pierre Oleschinsky's studio, that the "Parisian Watercolours" were created. A further stay in the city was made possible in 1967 by the state scholarship of the Cité internationale des arts. From 1971 to 1973 Kreutz was a guest lecturer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach am Main, and he moved to Bavaria in 1974. Kreutz showed his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including several times in Frankfurt am Main at the Zimmergalerie Franck, the Galerie Prestel, the Galerie Appel & Fertsch and the Galerie Ostertag, as well as in Munich at the Galerie Heseler. The Städtisches Museum Wiesbaden organised Kreutz's first museum exhibition in 1961. He was also represented in the group exhibitions "Junger Westen" (The Young West) at the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen (1956), "Phoenix" at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main (1981) and "Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (Art of the Federal Republic of Germany) at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (1985). In 2002 the Quadriga painters were awarded the Binding Culture Prize in Frankfurt am Main.